Nearly Wordless Picture Books

Sharing nearly wordless (and wordless) picture books with young children is a great way to encourage parent/caregiver interaction, build literacy skills, and enjoy some award-winning books.  These books encourage dialogue between caregiver and child as they work together to use the sparse text, punctuation, and illustrations as clues to understand the story. Children learn to “read” the pictures in a book before they learn to read the text. Understanding that illustrations and text work together to tell a story is a very important pre-literacy skill. Decoding illustrations helps children to develop narrative skills and to think and write creatively.

This list includes books with one repeated word over and over, Moo! by David LaRochelle and Banana! by Ed Vere, books with a repeated phrase paired with vibrant text, Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack and Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. And also a book that uses the same four letters that are in the title in inventive and hilarious ways to tell an entire story is included, as in Ah Ha!  by Jeff Mack.

Ah Ha!

With simple repeated text the story follows the ups and downs of a frog’s day.


Colorful illustrations and brief text show how two monkeys learn to share when there is only one banana between them.

Duck! Rabbit!

Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck.

Good News, Bad News

While on a picnic, Bunny and Mouse see everything that happens to them from opposite points of view–Bunny sees only the good, while Mouse sees only the bad.


When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer’s car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country.